From the high-tech Strategic Air and Space Museum in Ashland to the famous Buffalo Bill State Historical Park in North Platte, there’s no shortage of fun tourist attractions worth checking out in Nebraska. But what if you’re looking for something a little different?
You’re just in luck. Below, we’ve assembled a list of the coolest, quirkiest, and most under-the-radar destinations that the Cornhusker State has to offer:
The National Museum of Roller Skating
Roller skates have been damaging floors and losing security deposits in Lincoln apartments since Nebraska’s first roller rink opened in 1883. Every moment of the humble roller skate’s history since then has been lovingly chronicled at the National Museum of Roller Skating in Lincoln.
Exhibits range from the expected (information about the invention of roller skates and displays of roller derby memorabilia) to the downright bizarre (including news clippings about skate-related murders and even an outlandish pair of prototype jet-propelled skates!). You’re sure to have a wheel good time.
You’ve probably heard of Stonehenge, the mysterious circle of prehistoric standing stones that has baffled UK academics for centuries. But what about Carhenge? Not quite as ancient as its rocky counterpart, Carhenge came into existence in 1987 when eccentric artist Jim Reinders decided to recreate the iconic English landmark just outside the city of Alliance. Using old, beat-up cars.
Every last one of Stonehenge’s 38 stones is represented here, with cars, trucks, and even an old ambulance arranged meticulously in an attempt to emulate, or maybe surpass, Reinders’ famous inspiration. Now that’s what we call driven.
William Thompson’s Scalp
You want something weird? They don’t come much weirder than this: In 1987, William Thompson was one of several Union Pacific railroad employees attacked and scalped by a band of angry natives from the local Cheyenne tribe. Thompson miraculously survived, but Nebraska doctors were unable to reattach his sawed-off scalp.
As a result, the scalp eventually made its way to Omaha’s Main Library, where it is occasionally displayed for particularly morbid visitors. This is one attraction that’s a hair above the rest.
The World’s Largest Ball of Stamps
You may think of postal stamps as just those icky-tasting stickers you use to send out Christmas cards, but to millions of people worldwide, they’re collectible pieces of miniature art. That said, most normal folks keep their acquisitions in books and binders.
In 1953, though, a group of collectors in Boys Town decided to do something a little different, sticking some of their less valuable stamps onto a golf ball. Then they stuck a few more. And a few more. Jump ahead to present day and that ball is now 32 inches in diameter, weighs over 600 pounds, and comprises an estimated four million stamps. Your mouth will go dry just looking at it.